Arrogant academics and the Political Class

A haughty personal trait lurking behind liberal visionaries profiles the general public as intellectually inferior. Progressive disdain for traditional Americans and historic values held often comes out in their sneering words (e.g. Barack Obama’s infamous “bitter clingers” lecture; dismissing America’s heartland as “fly-over country”; and demeaning Southerners as gun-toting racist rednecks).

Progressives usually don’t take on hard or unpleasant, constructive work, but they relish energetically dictating their visionary lifestyles to others. And they really believe that they know better how we should live—and think about public policy.

Liberal academics and many in the political class contemptuously disrespect people who hold opposing views. Take Duke Professor Philip J. Cook, for instance. In the Summer 2013 issue of Duke Magazine (www.Dukemagazine.duke.edu) Matthew Shaer writes a “Straight Shooting” article (link) about this “numbers man,” an economist. Mr. Shaer praises Prof. Cook’s “irrefutable conclusion: More guns equals more dead people.” (Remember how defensively some environmentalists declared the “science of global warming is settled”?—more bunk.)

Shaer writes that Cook “trusts in the power of empirical evidence.” And, apparently, he trusts government more than citizens.

Immediately after lunatic Adam Lanza murdered his mother, school children and staff in Newtown, Connecticut, Cook told an NBC reporter that national legislation “limiting the size of magazines is the way to go.” Some people refer to this as “knee-jerk” reaction—another presumptuous, pompous liberal response—and it’s wrong.

Recently a comprehensive survey queried 15,000 law enforcement officers, “Do you think that a federal ban on manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds would reduce violent crime?” Nearly 97 percent responded: “NO.” Some probably wrote “Hell, No.” (link)

But that didn’t stop agenda-driven liberals trying to impose more restrictions on those of us who responsibly cherish the constitutional right to be armed. Shaer writes that Cook is frustrated because he can’t “directly influence” the anti-gun agenda; not that he hasn’t tried.

Prof. Cook is the go-to guy for the New York Times, National Public Radio and even Al Jezeera when they need anti-gun propaganda—social science activist Cook focuses on gun policy. Rather than study evil doers that use guns to kill other people, Cook concentrates on a frequent tool of their trade.

Cook can’t abide the fact (based on polling) that most Americans have little interest in more gun laws; thousands already clutter our lives. American citizens often show more common sense than those hiding behind ivy-covered walls or barricaded in Washington.

Cook is in anguish over the National Rifle Association’s power (based on 5 million members’ support) and evidence from other sources such as John R. Lott’s well-researched book: “More guns less crime.” Furthermore, police throughout the country know first-hand that more gun restrictions won’t solve our crime problem and FBI statistics show that violent crime has decreased while gun purchases increase.

Sheriffs across America oppose more useless gun restrictions. For example, 37 of Colorado’s 62 sheriffs plan to sue the state government over a new gun law. Delta County sheriff explained why: “We are concerned that (the law) is unenforceable and does nothing to impede criminal activity.” Most reasonable citizens get it.

The self-important professor resents being unable to “take charge of the agenda,” not because his views have been refuted, rather, he says, the “headlines” come from “people I don’t respect but who have access to the media.” This is laughable. Anyone who reads a daily paper or watches TV news can see that notoriously most “media” people express strong bias for more federal gun control legislation and frequently speak in anger about the NRA and its members.

It dismays Cook and his colleagues that most Americans understand we don’t need more gun laws—but we should enforce many of those now on the books that target criminal use. (The NRA advocates for better enforcement, and getting lunatics and criminals off the streets. It also provides training programs to teach responsible, safe use of guns. Early this month the NRA held its annual convention in Houston, Texas. Executives expected 70,000 people to attend; 86,000 showed up.)

The people also understand that when the political class rushes to “reform” they usually create more confusion, complexity and unnecessary restrictions, but fail to solve the presumed problem. For decades we have been deceived by these people time and time again. We just can’t trust the political class. It’s a bipartisan problem and there’s plenty of evidence to prove it.

Scott Rasmussen, a respected national pollster and also a “numbers guy,” documents the disconnection between American voters and the deceptive Political Class in his 2012 book, “The People’s Money.” Mr. Rasmussen defines the PC as a “collection” of elected officials, political staffers, lobbyists and activists. He focuses on federal fiscal matters, but shows how the PC has disdain for the people. Rasmussen cites Charles Franklin, a political science professor and “expert on public opinion,” who said, “I’m not endorsing the American voter. They’re pretty damn stupid.”

As long as the Political Class has that disdainful attitude toward our citizens they will be out of touch with the views of the majority and continue to be frustrated at their own irrelevancy.

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About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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